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Will CSA take into account my partner's income
Posted 13 August, 2008, 12:09 AM
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Hi, wonder if anyone can answer my question,  Will CSA take into account my partner's income if she moves in with me.  Background is that, I've been divorced for 4 years and two years ago, I met someone special and now, we are thinking of living together.  I pay child support to my Ex but have concerns that my Ex will make a claim for more child support when my girlfriend/partner moves in with me.  We both work full time and are both financially dependent.  I do want us to be together but relucted to do so because of Child Support implications. I don't want her income to be included as part of my CS assesment.

Can anyone answer my question and their experiences please.
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Posted 16 August, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Your partner's income has absolutely nothing to do with your obligation to pay child support. It will not be taken into account.

Likewise, your ex could marry a millionaire and your obligation to your children would be the same.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas
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CSA fishing expeditions to get new partner to subsidise 'child support'
Posted 16 August, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Artemis said

Your partner's income has absolutely nothing to do with your obligation to pay child support. It will not be taken into account.
What Artemis says is technically correct: your partner's income should not be taken into account.  And if the CSA was an ethical agency it would abide by the legislation and nothing more would need to be said.

However, over the years, I have heard numerous accounts of the CSA asking for details of the income and assets of the partners of paying fathers.  This is done verbally, over the phone, never in writing.  The CSA does not have the legislative power to demand partners' financial data.  But neither is there anything preventing it from asking for that financial information and leveraging people's expectations that, as a government agency, it has the 'right' to request such information (so that partners' hand it over and then it is subsequently used, typically to the financial disadvantage of father and new partner).  Certainly, ethical or moral considerations do not get in the way of the CSA going beyond its mandate.

Because the CSA has no legal right to the information, your partner does not have to give any details.  The child support 'debt' is associated with the father, not the partner.  If the CSA persists, ask for the request in writing, in particular requesting details of the legislative and regulatory basis for the request.

Additionally, consider the privacy issues and learn about the Privacy Act and the Privacy Commissioner (search via Google).  Like all other areas of government, the CSA should not be requesting, collecting or storing information on people that it has no legislated right to have; to do so is to breach the Privacy Act.  Because your partner is not connected to your child support the CSA has no right to any of her financial information.

You may be asking how the CSA can use a partner's information if if cannot touch her income or assets.  It is done by offset: the CSA don't touch her financials but use the figures to argue that she can in part support you, via your shared household.  On that basis, the CSA magically asserts that this then frees up some of your financials so that the CSA can then justify taking even more of your money.  And leaving your partner to subsidise you and your ex-partner.  Hence the term "wife-in-law".

Both the CSA and mothers' rights groups will deny this happens but I have heard accounts, from different and unrelated sources, that indicate it does happen.

One thing the CSA won't do is guarantee the money you pay is spent on your children.  The CSA give the money to the mother and there is no accountability for how and on whom it is spent, from either the mother or the CSA.

Artemis said

Likewise, your ex could marry a millionaire and your obligation to your children would be the same.
Again Artemis is correct.

Interestingly, the CSA do not try the same trick on mothers and their new partners, as they do on fathers and their new partners!
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Posted 16 August, 2008, 03:39 PM
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MAtrix , Artemis and MikeT,,,  thank you for your response. I will sure refer to them if the Ex and CSA try to request details of my partner.
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Posted 16 August, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Percolo Alio

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Just in case any one is confused. As there were issues with posts, including this one. I did send a personal response to Nic35 as I didn't want Nic35 to feel ignored.

Disclaimer - I apologise for any adverse reaction/feeling you may have if you are not of sound mind and therefore take this disclaimer and everything I post ridiculously out of context and see the hidden gender-biased messages that my lack of self-awareness allows me to actually be aware of and compose without actually even composing them.

Thanking Larissap for the inspiration behind this signature.

When asked about hand written notes on the document marked as Exhibit 3 the best that the Applicant maternal grandmother could say was :
 It looks like my handwriting!
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Posted 16 August, 2008, 08:50 PM
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That was very helpful Miket, given how some threads are going a bit strange at the moment.

I'm sure that will be sorted soon. Meanwhile, good job going above and beyond.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas
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New partners' incomes
Posted 03 September, 2008, 05:35 PM
#17838
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New partners' incomes

If you or the other parent re-partner after separation, your new partner's income is generally not included when CSA calculates child support payments. This is because the child's parents are still primarily responsible for providing financial support for the child.

However, there are exceptions in circumstances where there may be complex financial arrangements that could allow a parent to minimise their true income for child support purposes.

When the CSA suspects that a parent's taxable income is not an accurate reflection of their true earning capacity, property and/or financial resources, the CSA may conduct further investigations to ensure the parent is paying or receiving the right amount of child support. Alternatively, either parent can lodge a Change of Assessment application (Reason 8 - a parent's income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity). In this process, the CSA will investigate both parent's financial circumstances and this may include the financial circumstances of third parties where there is a clear financial relationship between the parent and the third party.

The CSA applies this principle to all customers - paying parents and receiving parents - with no distinction made between male and female.

Moderator NOTE!

The Ombudsman, in a report published in late 2010, found otherwise; they in fact found that the CSA do apply bias against the liable parent via the Change of Assessment Process (this was known to be fact anyway).

It is unlikely that changes would be made in the case of two salary and wage earners.

An example of minimising income to pay less child support

A paying parent who worked as a builder had their taxable income drop from about $68,000 down to $0. This was a result of a transfer of the business to a new partner, who continued to work full-time outside of the business and played no part in running the business other than to own the assets.

As a result of evidence provided, the CSA investigated both parent's financial situation and found that the paying parent's financial arrangements suggested the parent was minimising their income so they could pay less child support. A key to this decision was the transfer of all assets for no payment, and the fact that the paying parent was still working full time in the building industry despite receiving no remuneration.

Note that this in no way implies that this arrangement is unsuitable for tax purposes-simply that the paying parent has a capacity to pay more than is reflected by the $0 taxable income.

Further information is available about Change of Assessment under Reason 8- a parent's income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity, in The Guide, CSA's online guide to the administration of the new child support scheme. The Guide can be found at www.csa.gov.au.

Last edit: 06 August, 2011, 03:30 PM by MikeT

The Child Support Agency (CSA) has provided this general information to support a better understanding of the Child Support Scheme. To discuss an individual child support case, or for further information, please contact the CSA directly, as specific cases or circumstances will not be discussed in a public forum.
All CSA communications with the forum will be in the form of public posts- the CSA will not be responding to private posts or emails.
Additional information on the Child Support Agency, and details on their participation in this site can be found here...
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Posted 03 September, 2008, 07:18 PM
#17847
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The CSA's official line does not coincide with our experience of dealing with them when change of assessments are under consideration. 

During every case conference, regardless of the relevance to the matter in hand, the SCO has made reference to me.  For example, during last case conference, SCO asked my husband how much I earned.  He declined to answer the question.  Despite its irrelevance to the issue (capacity to earn), her final report stated that I had a high income.  All we can assume is that she asked the payee to comment on my income and that the payee provided her with unsubstantiated information (as the payee does not know how much I earn and in the UK my income is not considered to be high).  My income is completely independent of my husband (I am a government employee!).

SCO obviously did take my income into account as although the payee's COA for 'capacity to earn' was rejected, she instead hit my husband for capacity to pay instead.  An objection has been submitted.

Last edit: 03 September, 2008, 07:20 PM by greebo
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Legislation - Third Parties
Posted 04 September, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Thanks for your response and information CSA.

CSA said

In this process, the CSA will investigate both parent's financial circumstances and this may include the financial circumstances of third parties where there is a clear financial relationship between the parent and the third party.
1. What are the sections (of which Acts and/or Regulations) that apply to, allow and entitle the CSA to demand the financial details of "third parties" please?

2. Additionally, you mention "earning capacity" (I understand 'capacity to earn') in relation to Change of Assessment applications, Reason 8 - a parent's income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity.  But later in your post you change the terminology to "capacity to pay".  Do you consider the terms interchangeable?  Aren't capacity to earn and capacity to pay different?

3. Why can't a man decide to leave paid employment and care for his children fulltime, while his wife/partner continues her paid employment, without the CSA seeking to penalise him for caring for his family?  Women (mothers with new partners) do this all the time and the CSA does not appear to stigmatise or penalise them as drones (cf 'deadbeats'), who are unwilling to work and support their child, while living off the income of the children's father (who they have deserted and who have no choice in the matter).

Thank you.  Matrix
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Posted 10 February, 2011, 07:33 PM
#37610
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I too have had the c.s.a bluff and they got my partners details despite our request saying we objected..then when it went to ssat all detail were passed onto a woman I had a one night stand with
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Posted 11 February, 2011, 12:12 AM
#37611
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I know this is an old thread and we don't see C$A on here too much anymore, but I am wondering when C$A states they will investigate parents financial arrangements with a third party, in how many cases would they actually consider the payees new partner's income?
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Posted 20 March, 2011, 11:41 AM
#38273
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The CSA asked me during our phone conference for a COA how much my wife earned.  

They appear to have found a "loophole".. and consider the new partners wage as "financial resources" available to the payer.

It's amusing to think that they feel that my new wife just signs her paycheck over to me every month to do with it as I will.  What century do we live in again??
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New partners' incomes
Posted 20 March, 2011, 12:10 PM
#38274
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So pete did you comply with there request and provide those details? I have found they are prepared to ride you until your homeless and pennyless
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Posted 20 March, 2011, 04:57 PM
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Regardless of whether you comply or not, CSA WILL access a new partner's ATO file and tax returns.
As the second wife of a CSA payer, I speak from experience.
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Ajae
Posted 20 March, 2011, 05:05 PM
#38279
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This is what I was thinking as well



It's amusing to think that they feel that my new wife just signs her paycheck over to me every month to do with it as I will.  What century do we live in again??



wheather she does or doesnt they will make assement this caused friction as my second wife resented paying for a child from my first relationship which in the end caused a breakdown in the marriage now I have two csa assements..lol
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Posted 20 March, 2011, 08:09 PM
#38280
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Grinch, sorry to hear your plight.

Men, get vascectomies.
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Men, get vascectomies.
Posted 20 March, 2011, 08:13 PM
#38281
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Not sure what you mean by that comment when my frst relationship was over I was still at an age I wanted children are you impyling that I was entittled to have more children?





ps good news I have had a Vascetomy now thanks for asking
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Posted 20 March, 2011, 08:52 PM
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It would be nice to think that men actually had a say in whether they were prepared to have a child.  Unfortunately in a lot of cases they don't, it is more a 'surprise' than a plan.
Now then, if the Government reviewed their Centrelink and FBT laws, then maybe less women would be prepared to have a child/children if they knew they would not be paid so generously for doing so...  
I don't know the stats, but I'm willing to bet the majority of kids born are not planned, nor are they born to mother or parents who have planned them around their "working lives".  
And you can't tell me there's not thousands of guys out there who's new loves know that they can't lose.  Either you have a kid with them and stay, or you have a kid with them and leave (regardless of who leaves).  In most instances of sneaky pregnancies...the mothers can't lose.   There, I said it.
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Hindsight is a beautiful thing
Posted 20 March, 2011, 08:57 PM
#38283
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yes I had sex two night stand yes the question was asked ......oh I am safe was answer....yes it is cottage industry in some parts of melbourne  yup I was stupid nieve as I say hidsight is a beautiful thing
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New Partners Income
Posted 20 March, 2011, 09:04 PM
#38284
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CSA didn't need to ask about my new partners income.

My ex was kind enough to provide it to them.

Here is the catch, she was dishonest, she informed CSA I had a financial interest in my new partners asset which was very minimal. CSA never bother to verify her allegations. My new partner was back at school, and had full-time care of her children. She was living on very limited funds left over from her settlement.

What happened next was CSA collected all but $124.00 of my weekly wage.

When I requested the information via FOI, all I got was section 72A.

I was terminated from my employment because I didn't have the funds to travel to work and feed myself.
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